By Susan C. Galentine (Fort Carson)April 4, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Every turn of the faucet, flush of the toilet and shower spray adds to the water utility graph Fort Carson tracks and increases the bill for this limited resource.
To reduce costs and achieve its objective of Net Zero water, Fort Carson has partnered with Johnson Controls under a federal Energy Savings Performance Contract to replace water fixtures in 124 facilities, which includes installing pint flush urinals, low-flow toilets, aerators for faucets and low-flow shower heads. The project began in mid January and completion is anticipated by August.
"The funding is provided by the contractor, and Fort Carson pays the contractor back on an annual basis, based on the guaranteed utility bill savings," said Scott Clark, Directorate of Public Works Operations and Maintenance Division energy program coordinator.
The savings achieved from water fixture upgrades is significant. Evans Army Community Hospital, which falls under U.S Army Medical Department Activity Command, completed a similar project in the hospital and in just one year showed a water reduction of more than 40 percent.
Clark said the target for the project under way is to reduce drinking water use on Fort Carson by more than 55 million gallons (approximately 10 percent) per year or nearly $200,000 per year from the utility bill.
A wide range of buildings are getting fixture overhauls, including barracks, motor pools and company operations facilities.
"The effort is focused on facilities that have older fixtures not meeting current water use standards," explained Clark. Approximately 15 percent of the facilities have been completed to date.
Occupants should notice little difference with the upgrade.
"For toilets and urinals, there should be little if no differences for the users. The low flow shower heads and aerators might have a different feel, but still get the job done," Clark said.
Spc. Krystal Garduno, Company C, 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, rates the new showerheads positively.
"It has good water pressure compared to the other shower head," she said.
Although care is being taken to install the water-saving fixtures properly, occasionally leaks, flushing problems or other issues may occur.
If occupants experience any leak issues, they should call in a service order to the DPW operations and maintenance contractor, Fort Carson Support Services, at 526-5345. Barracks residents are asked not to remove any new shower heads or faucet aerators installed and to call their First Sergeants Barracks Program 2020 representative.
These water-conserving fixtures make it easier for Fort Carson's facility occupants to do their part to help conserve water every time they turn on the faucet or flush a toilet.